Sciatica: Understanding Causes & Treatment

If you’ve ever experienced severe pain in your buttock or back of your thigh, then you may already be painfully aware of the term “sciatica,” or “sciatic nerve.”

The sciatic nerve (pronounced si – at – ik) is a long, thick nerve (about as thick as your thumb) that extends from the center of the buttock, down the back side of the upper leg. Because the sciatic nerve is so large, when it is damaged, inflamed, or irritated, it can be very painful.

Based on the fact that you are reading this article, chances are that you are well aware of the severe pain, numbness, and loss of function that accompanies “sciatica.”

The good news is – the physical therapists and doctors at Forest Hills Rehabilitation can help!

The sciatic nerve like all peripheral nerves, starts as nerve roots from your spinal cord. The nerve roots exit between the bones in your lower back (see low back anatomy), and eventually contribute to the massive sciatic nerve that exits under a large muscle in the buttock called the piriformis. In some patients the sciatic nerve lies directly under the piriformis muscle, in others it actually pierces the muscle.

If there is injury or irritation at any point along the sciatic nerve pathway, the nerve can become inflamed, and symptomatic.

Disc injuries (herniated disc – bulging disc), vertebral bone misalignment, swelling, ligament instability, muscle imbalances – including spasm, weakness, and injury, are all possible causes of sciatica.

Since there are so many possibilities that may cause sciatica, symptoms should be carefully evaluated by a trained clinician with years of experience.

Although 10 patients may have the exact same symptoms and ultimately diagnosed with “sciatica” there could potentially be 10 different causes, and theoretically 10 different treatments.

Signs of sciatica include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, or spasm in the buttock and back of the thigh, lower leg, feet and toes.

If you have been suffering with symptoms of sciatica, such as back or leg pain, numbness and tingling, burning or weakness for more than three days you need to consult one of our skilled clinicians today.

For more than a decade, the physical therapists, chiropractors and medical doctors at Forest Hills Rehabilitation have been helping patients just like you, suffering with sciatica and related symptoms.

Our skilled physical therapists work closely with supervising medical physicians to offer a variety of different treatment options for you.

We are easily accessible by public transportation, offer early morning, late evening, and weekend hours, and accept most insurance plans.

For additional information or to schedule your same-day appointment, call us today!

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108-14 72nd Avenue
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Forest Hills, NY

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Between Queens Blvd. & Austin St.

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